VSEL cuts 500 jobs at Barrow

VSEL, the Trident submarine builder, yesterday announced a further 500 job losses at its Barrow yard in Cumbria.

The latest redundancies will cut VSEL's workforce to just 6,000, compared with 14,000 four years ago, and were accompanied by a warning of yet more job losses.

A spokesman said earlier predictions that the number of workers would fall to 5,000 eventually were still expected to be accurate.

The remaining workforce will continue working on the three Trident submarines still to be completed and an order for the AS90 self-propelled gun for the British Army.

Ray Davies, the personnel director, said: 'We regret very much having to make today's announcement, but I think that people now appreciate that we have no alternative other than to respond to our reducing workload if we are to remain competitive and secure our long- term future.'

The job cuts will be spread among blue and white-collar workers. A further review of jobs would take place in the shipbuilding division and an announcement would be made when that was complete, the company added. VSEL said it was seeking as many volunteers for redundancy as possible.

The first Trident submarine has been completed. The second, Victorious, is almost ready for sea trials. Work on the third and fourth vessels is under way.

The latest job losses were not unexpected as VSEL had been warning of further cuts. The company warned last October that it might eventually have to slim down the workforce to 5,000 because of cuts in defence spending.

Alex Ferry, general secretary of the Confederation of Shipbuilding and Engineering Unions, said it highlighted the need for government help for defence-related companies to diversify into other areas of production.

'It is difficult to argue with the management to retain people when there is no work,' he said. 'We need a diversification policy in this country to help companies totally dependent on the defence sector to get into other markets.'

The 500 redundancies will add about 2 per cent to the area's unemployment rate, Mr Ferry estimated.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Digital Optimisation Executive - Marketing

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's fastest growing, multi...

Recruitment Genius: Financial Reporting Manager

£70000 - £90000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Financial Reporting Manager i...

Recruitment Genius: Payments Operations Assistant

£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They win lots of awards for the...

Recruitment Genius: Telephone Debt Negotiator

£13500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This nationwide enforcement com...

Day In a Page

On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

Saving Private Brandt

A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral